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President Donald Trump on Friday announced "sweeping action" by his administration to lower the price of prescription drugs for the American people.

"We will have tougher negotiation, more competition and much lower prices at the pharmacy counter. And it will start to take effect very soon," Trump said in the White House Rose Garden.

He said that increasing competition and reducing regulatory burdens will get drugs to the market quicker and cheaper.

"We're very much eliminating the middlemen. The middlemen became very, very rich," Trump said.

He said his administration is committed to putting American patients first, and that means taking on the drug lobby, the drug makers that exploit patent laws and the foreign countries that "extort" unreasonably low prices from U.S. drug makers.

"America will not be cheated any longer and especially will not be cheated by foreign countries" Trump said, lamenting that Americans are paying far higher prices than overseas for the same drugs. 

"It's unfair, it's ridiculous and it's not going to happen any longer."

"We will work every day to ensure all Americans have access to the quality, affordable medication they need and they deserve," Trump said. "And we will not rest until this job of [fixing] unfair pricing is a total victory for the USA. It will happen and it's going to happen quickly."

Trump said he will direct U.S. Trade Representative Bob Lighthizer to make drug pricing a "top priority" with America's trading partners. 

"The American people deserve a health care system that takes care of them, not one that taxes and takes advantage of our patients, our consumers and our citizens."

Watch Trump's speech above.


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